"I just know you're a good man! You're not at all common!"
Just some of the last pleading words of the grandmother in the story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor. In the story, the author uses colloquialism, point-of-view, foreshadowing, and irony, as well as other rhetorical devices, to portray the satire of southern beliefs and religion throughout the entire piece.
Flannery O'Connor lived most of her life in the southern state of Georgia. When once asked what the most influential things in her life were, she responded "Being a Catholic and a Southerner and a writer." (1) She uses her knowledge of southern religion and popular beliefs to her advantage throughout the story. Not only does she thoroughly depict the southern dialect, she uses it more convincingly than other authors have previously attempted such as Charles Dickens and Zora Neale Hurston. In other works, the authors frequently use colloquialism so "local" that a reader not familiar with those slang terms, as well as accents, may have difficulty understanding or grasping the meaning of the particular passage. O'Connor not only depicts a genuine southern accent, she allows the characters to maintain some aspect of intelligence, which allows the audience to focus on the meaning of the passage, rather than the overbearing burden of interpreting a rather "foreign language."
Another device not frequently used before O'Connor is the transition between third-person to first-person point-of-view, the first-person being through the grandmother. In the beginning of the story, she describes how the each of the characters feel towards taking a trip to Florida, as well as hint at the relationships they hold for one another. Then the narrator goes on to describe the grandmother's personal thoughts and feelings throughout the trip, as well as how she thinks towards the end of the story. We first see the first-person point-of-view when the narrator tells how the grandmother did...
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